I had been dreading today’s workout. I woke at 4:45 am. I have got my get-ready-in-the-morning routine down to a T now so I was down in the basement in 20 mins. A little earlier than needed. Drove with my car pool buddy to the workout venue. Did I tell you Runner’s High encourages car pooling?
The first activity was warm up – which meant 3 rounds or 1.2 kms on an easy jog or run. I walked a bit of that in the 1st round. Then ran non stop for the next 2 laps. Did the foot drills after that. They are fun, I like them.
This was followed by another activity – 8 laps of straights and curves. Had to run fast, about 75% of my sprint speed in the straight stretches – about 100 m. Then do a slow jog or walk on the curves another 100 m. Had to do 16 repeats of this. This is the part I feared before today. What I did the last time ,when it was 6 laps, I ran as fast as I could and then jogged/slow ran on the curves. What happened was that I wasn’t able to recover my breath just enough till the beginning of the fast straights and ended up running them also slow. After about 2 laps like this I was ready to give up, all breathless and tired. It was almost like running at an easy pace for 6 laps. I wasn’t getting what I should have out of the workout.
Today, I had decided to ask the coaches if there was a better way to do it. There had to be!
Like a fellow newbie runner said something like, It shouldn’t be a punishment. It should be something to look forward to and fun. If it is not fun then we won’t feel like doing it again.
Santhosh, the guy who started Runner’s High, was at our workout location today. He moves across the different work out locations every Wednesday. When I asked him how I could do this better without giving up mentally, he said, Do the fasts as fast as you can, while not sprinting full speed. On the slow stretches, WALK, do not run. Catch up your breath and get your heart to normal level before the next fast stretch. It is important to get your heart and lungs to expand more and work harder than they are used to then slow them down. This will help improve your stamina and run ability.
So I followed this to a T and that helped! I was able to do all 8 laps very easily. Ran the fast stretches, became almost breathless at the ends of those, which is what should happen. Then walked around to catch breath over the curves.
So the myth that workouts have to be painful to gain from them was shattered today. Yes they are not easy, BUT they don’t have to be a torture and something that scares you. If you are not comfortable, ask the experts and figure out the right way to do it.
Over a period of time I should be able to run/jog those curves also. But that will and should happen slowly not from day 1. Yet again, for some people with a decent fitness level it could be the state on Day 1. Just listen to your body and focus on the task, don’t do what everyone around seems to be doing.